I have spent the past 34-days in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. During this time, I enjoyed walks on the beach, meeting up with old friends over delicious food, visiting my favorite spots on the Northern coast, stopping in at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and even traveled to Portland for one whirlwind day of activities. Each morning began peacefully with coffee and wave watching and each evening ended with either a sunset or a quiet rainy night and there were always plenty of animal snuggles to go round. On many of my walks with Mabel (the dog) we crossed paths with the neighborhood deer and occasionally we would see a giant, majestic buck among the herd. I squeezed in work and house chores between all the other activities all while enjoying the sounds of the ocean and watching the birds fill themselves at the feeder. I even found time to take in the occasional soak in the hot tub as well.
On an exceptionally sunny and dry day, I decided to drive north along the coast to check in on some of my favorite spots. Unfortunately the tide was exceptionally high so I was only able to really enjoy one spot, Ecola State Park. Lucky for me it’s my favorite so all was well. After getting a good parking spot close to the beach, I grabbed my photo gear and made my way down to Indian Beach. With the high tide, the only accessible part of the beach to walk on was the rocky area. In order to get to the south side of the beach, I had to cross a small creek. I was looking for the shallowest part to cross and in that process I think I ended up choosing the deepest part which went up over my knees to my thighs. Luckily I kept my footing and made my way across the slippery and teetery rock bottom. Once on the other side, pants drenched and dripping with water, I walked toward the rock formations that create the beautifully unique seascape that I love so much. Occasionally there would be a bigger wave coming in further than all the other ones causing me to have to run back a bit quickly in the other direction. I soon decided I had enough pictures and it was time to go before my luck ran out. On the 2-hour drive back to Lincoln City, I was delighted to find a unique cloud formation in the skyline at sunset that I had to stop and snap a few pictures of.
One Saturday, I made the 2-hour drive to Portland for a whirlwind of activities. First I met up with a friend at the Sitka Art Invitational at the World Forestry Center to peruse the amazing art and say hello to a couple of my old co-workers there. Afterward, I headed to the Portland Saturday Market to enjoy a plate of my favorite food cart Polish cuisine while catching up with an old co-worker. Once done with lunch, I met up with a group of friends to walk around the market while shopping and catching up. When I was done there, I went over to visit my friend in the West Hills and finally meet her new fur baby while we enjoyed coffee and a bit of conversation. Before I knew it, it was time to head back out, this time to Northwest Portland to meet up with another friend at Papa Hadyn and afterward, running to the Pearl District to meet up with yet another friend for dinner before driving back to Lincoln City. It was a long day but oh so fun to see and catch up with everyone. It was a little sad though to be there in my old stomping grounds with all my old friends but without Cole. His name came up on more than a few occasions. Tears were shed by more than just me, proving how special he really was to everyone he met.
Thanksgiving was an interesting holiday this year. No stranger to spending it without family, I had never spent it without Cole in the past decade plus. The first half of the day went pretty well, the weather was delightful so I decided to go for a long walk on the beach. Once I got back to the house, I decided to take a nap before undertaking the big meal preparations. Once I sat down to eat, that’s when it really hit me how much Cole wasn’t there to share in the holiday and the meal with me. This was really hard for me and entailed lots of crying that spurred many particularly hard days, grieving his loss. It’s not like I ever forget that he’s gone, I think about him every day and I still cry about his passing every day. There’s just something about the holidays I guess that makes it extra, extra hard.
Due to the new COVID variant, my departure plans sort of flip-flopped around a little bit last minute due to the homeowners running into some issues with their return flights from Morocco but after all was said and done, I was right back on track to leave when I first thought I would. With all the changes though, I decided to start making my way back to the Midwest after the homeowners returned instead of spending a few days in Portland first.
I did enjoy a magical last day on the coast today. It started by running into the neighborhood herd of deer including the large, majestic buck I adore so much. Then, on the way back to the house, I crossed paths with a giant slug. I love slugs so much and hadn’t seen any on this trip so it felt fortuitous that I would run into one on my last day here. The morning and first part of the afternoon was full of sunshine while I sipped coffee, watched the waves and enjoyed some particularly good animal snuggles before running errands. I did run into a little snag when I realized I lost my house key after coming back from my errands. After a little texting back and forth with the homeowners, I was able to get the new code for the spare key box and then back inside to finish getting everything packed and loaded in the car. While making one of the trips to the car, loading up my things, I came face to face with the giant buck. Just 15-feet away, we stared at each other. He seemed calm and not too disturbed by my presence. After about 5-minutes, he slowly and gracefully continued his walk down the street. It was so cool and of course I didn’t have my phone on me to get a video or photo. Oh well, I guess some things are just not meant to be documented. The evening has consisted of doing the final house chores so the homeowners can come home to a pleasant space later tonight after their long 2-days of travel. I did manage to squeeze in one last soak in the hot tub after everything was said and done.
Tomorrow I say farewell to the animals and this lovely home on the Oregon coast and start making my way home to the Midwest. Come sunrise tomorrow, I am California bound. See you next time, Oregon!